The Quest – Day 37

This is the devotional for Wednesday, November 1, 2006 which is the 37th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 37 of Frank Moore’s life-changing book, The Power To Be Free.

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional. Visit http://www.buildyourfaith.net to read the previous days’ devotionals or to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

 

Day 37 – Accepting God’s Gift

 

Our quest will succeed only after we receive God’s gift of sanctification. 

“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.  May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”   (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NIV)

In Charles Dickens’ classic book Great Expectations, the character Abel Magwitch worked quietly behind the scenes as a secret benefactor to Philip Pirrip, nicknamed Pip, to provide him with resources and opportunities throughout his life that elevated him into high society.  Much later, Pip looked back and saw the unmistakable hand of his secret benefactor in his life.  More often than not, we also succeed because of a team effort or a friend or relative working quietly behind the scenes to assist in our accomplishments. 

The same is true of spiritual success.  God gives us many benefits.  Just as we do not earn or deserve the new birth, we do not earn or deserve sanctification.  In our Scripture focus today Paul shows us that sanctification is not something we do for ourselves; God does it.  We receive God’s gift by faith. 

“To sanctify” means to set apart for God.  In the New Testament, it is believers who are sanctified rather than places or things as was true in the Old Testament.  God sets us apart for himself, but with an added dimension.  He cleanses and purifies our hearts and places His Spirit within us to enable us to live the lives to which He calls us. 

Paul’s description of the work of the Spirit in 1 Thessalonians 4:8 and 5:23 shows us that  God accepts our consecration (which was yesterday’s topic) by giving us the gift of sanctification in a moment in time, but that He also places His Spirit in us on an ongoing basis.  So, we experience both a moment-in-time experience and a daily process of growth toward maturity.  This experience affects every part of our being:  spirit, soul, and body. 

So, what is the source of this sanctification?  Paul says God calls us; God is faithful; God will do it.  Yes, my commitment to Him and my self-discipline are important.  However, God’s gift of His Spirit and His sanctification are the real reasons we can live holy lives. 

God’s plan for us to live holy lives calls us to sanctification which is also God’s gift to us.  He sanctifies in a moment and gives us His Spirit each moment for a lifetime of growth in sanctification.

The memory verse for this week is Colossians 1:27, “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” 

For more information on both the FaithBuilders podcast and the Faith Church podcast visit www.buildyourfaith.net.  For more information about our church, visit our website at www.jaxnaz.org. 

Build your faith today by receiving God’s gift of sanctification by faith.

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The Quest – Day 8

This is the devotional for Tuesday, October 3, 2006 which is the 8th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 8 of Frank Moore’s great book, The Power To Be Free.

If you were unable to attend Sunday’s service, Week 1 of the Quest, we’d love you have you participate via our Faith Nazarene Church podcast.

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional. Visit http://www.buildyourfaith.net to read the previous days’ devotionals or to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

Day 8 – Who is our Guide?

The Spirit is God.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.” (John 14:16-17 NIV)

Who is God? Deuteronomy 6:4 clearly teaches, “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” The New Testament presents us with discussions of the Father, Son and Spirit. What’s going on here? One God or three?

We must be careful to avoid error in our analysis. Some people incorrectly say the one God goes by the different names of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as He works in our world. This view resembles a one-actor play where a single individual changes clothes to play the part of several characters. This theory, however, does not fit with Scripture.

All three persons of the Trinity are God. The three names, however, do not speak of three deities, but of a single God. He is one being. It is sometimes helpful in grasping this truth to think of three persons with one essence, nature, or being. But with too much emphasis on the word “three,” we tend to think of three distinct gods. With too much emphasis on the word, “one,” we tend to think of Father becoming Son becoming Spirit. Both extremes are not Biblical and thus equal error.

The Spirit of Christ, then, is a divine Person with whom we interact. He is not an impersonal spiritual force like “The Force” of Hollywood movies. Neither is He a scary ghost or even a friendly one like Casper.

The Spirit is a divine Person with intelligence, will and emotions. He can be affected through such things as grieving, quenching, resisting and blasphemy. He ministers to us as a person: teaching, regenerating, searching, speaking, interceding, commanding, testifying, guiding, illuminating and revealing. We must always be careful to remember that He is fully divine with the Father and the Son. What’s more, He is One with the Father and the Son.

The Spirit’s presence in our lives reminds us that God is near us and in us at all times.

The memory verse for this week is John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

Thank you for visiting FaithBuilders at http://www.buildyourfaith.net. For more information about our church, visit our website at www.jaxnaz.org.

Build your faith today by remembering that the Spirit is God.